According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year 30,000 people contract lyme disease in the United States, and this amount continues to increase with each passing year. Although this is certainly a whole lot of new lyme disease cases for one single year in the country, experts with the CDC insist that the actual number of lyme disease cases is much higher than 30,000 per year, as some people who contract the disease do not realize that they are infected until long after they sustained their last known tick bite. Surprisingly, researchers with the health agency estimate that as many as 300,000 new cases of lyme disease are contracted in the US each year. In fact, three young people suddenly dropped dead from lyme disease complications five years ago despite the fact that none of the deceased individuals were aware that they had contracted lyme disease.

During the winter of 2013, it was reported that three individuals aged between 26 and 38 died suddenly from an extremely rare condition related to lyme disease. This condition is known as lyme carditis, and when it does not result in death, other serious medical problems result. However, before these deaths occured, only four people were known to have died from lyme disease, two of which were American victims and the other two were British. Each of the three victims lived within a different state in the northeast, these states include Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York.

The victim from Massachusetts died while he was driving, the second victim from New York suddenly died after complaining of chest pains and the third victim from Connecticut died after complaining about anxiety symptoms for a week before his death. The Connecticut victim likely contracted lyme disease near his home, as he lived near a forested area. The Massachusetts victim may have become infected with lyme in or near his home, as it was reported that he often had to remove deer ticks from his dog. A doctor accidentally discovered that the victims died from lyme carditis after noticing signs of the rare disease in the victim’s heart tissue. Experts are still trying to determine just how rare this disease is, but sadly, it often leads to sudden cardiac arrest.

Do you fear the possibility of developing lyme carditis?